At Realty Group of Southwest Florida, we are proud to share that we’ve only had one eviction since 2001. That’s a pretty great track record, and we owe most of our success to our tenant screening process. Today, we’re sharing some of the things we do to find the best possible tenants for our rental properties.

Applications and Rental Criteria

Every adult 18 years of age or older who will live in the property must complete an application. We provide paperless applications online because it keeps the process efficient and we have the technology to support it. The application must be fully filled out, signed, and submitted with all the supporting documentation that we request.

Our residential selection criteria is applied to each application fairly and consistently. Every potential tenant is screened against the same criteria. Either the applicants meet our standards and get approved or they don’t meet our standards and they’re denied. On average, we’re able to screen applications in less than 24 hours. This saves our owners money because it means the property isn’t left vacant for longer than necessary.

Screening Tenant Backgrounds and Financials

Our screening process begins with a thorough and nationwide criminal background check. We also look for prior evictions and court judgments. We check credit, and we verify employment and income. It’s important to be thorough when you’re checking these things. You want to verify all of the information that you receive on an application. Contact the employers that tenants say they work for, and ask for things like pay stubs or tax records to verify the income they claim to earn. When you’re checking credit, look for overdue bills or outstanding debts owed to other landlords, property management companies, or apartment buildings.

Checking Rental History

It’s also important to check a tenant’s rental history. Make sure the landlord information that you’ve received is correct. Tenants with a bad rental history will be more likely to try and give you the names and phone numbers of friends or family members instead of landlords or property managers. Once you’ve verified who you’re talking to, ask if the tenants paid rent on time, left behind any property damage, and gave the proper notice before moving out. You’ll want to know if they followed the terms of their lease and if the landlord would consider renting to those residents again.

When you have a professional property management company screening your tenants, you get the peace of mind that qualified and experienced leasing agents are placing good tenants in your rental property. This is important because a good tenant will contribute to a positive rental experience and increased ROI. A bad tenant will cost you money and a lot of stress. There may be ongoing disputes, unpaid rent, and the potential for expensive and time-consuming evictions.

To find out how we’ve managed to maintain such a low eviction rate, please contact us at Realty Group of Southwest Florida. We’d be happy to tell you more and share a few additional tips on how to screen tenants effectively.